What Has Mehmet Oz Been Up To?

— Oz went silent on social media after losing his Senate race, but appears to be making a comeback

 A photo of Dr. Mehmet Oz.

For months after losing the Pennsylvania Senate race to John Fetterman (D-Pa.) by more than a quarter-million votes last fall, Mehmet Oz, MD, was uncharacteristically quiet on social media. But now the renowned surgeon, TV personality, and defeated politician may be laying the groundwork to launch himself back into relevance.

Several days per week, clips of old segments from The Dr. Oz Show are posted to Oz's YouTube channel, which has 1.87 million subscribers (though most videos get fewer than 5,000 views). The videos have classic click-bait titles like, "You Won't Believe What Happens When You Microwave These 5 Things!" and "Looking For A Sciatica Pain Solution That Doesn't Involve Pills?"

He's plugging the show on Twitter, too, noting in a recent post that he's "curating" clips from the show, which ran from 2009 until January 2022, when he began his bid for the Senate.

The clips aren't Oz's first foray back into social media, though. The earthquakes that devastated Turkey and Syria back in February spurred Oz to get active on social media again -- and to travel to the region. He holds dual citizenship with the U.S. and Turkey, where his parents emigrated from in the 1950s.

In the weeks following the earthquake, he posted selfies with the rubble, met with frontline responders near fallen hospitals, posted photos with Turkish children following limb amputations, and spoke with international media about what he saw.

After the trip to Turkey, Oz continued to position himself as a regular guy, with posts celebrating holidays, Formula 1 racing, and photos from taking his granddaughter to Taylor Swift's concert in Philadelphia.

Oz is also the chairman of the board of directors of HealthCorps, a nonprofit he started with his wife Lisa in 2003 that aims "to eliminate health inequity and improve lives by educating and empowering teens -- encouraging them to become change-agents within their families, schools, and neighborhoods."

Last month, he traveled to Houston to promote new HealthCorps initiatives including "Teens Make Health Happen," as reported in Houston City Book. In May, Oz also tweeted out photos of a HealthCorps fundraiser in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

HealthCorps did not respond to MedPage Today's multiple requests for comment about Oz's current role or influence in the organization's work.

Also in May, Oz tweeted a photo from the Ellis Island Medal of Honor ceremony, of which he is the vice-chairman, expressing his excitement for an event that "celebrates Americans who treasure their immigrant roots." Ironically, Oz remained involved in the organization during the year he spent touting anti-immigrant sentiments on his campaign website and social media accounts.

As of press time, the organization has not responded to questions from MedPage Today.

Unsurprisingly, Oz is still touting supplements, posting a photo to Twitter earlier this month from a visit to "natural products" manufacturer iHerb's packing facility in Pennsylvania. Representatives from iHerb also did not respond to questions from MedPage Today.

Oz has used his platforms to tout the alleged benefits of supplements since he was a regular on Oprah -- which has gotten him in trouble multiple times. In 2014, he testified before Congress after the Federal Trade Commission sued a green coffee supplement producer popularized by the The Dr. Oz Show, for unsubstantiated weight-loss claims.

Columbia University, another institution with a longstanding affiliation with Oz, fully cut ties with him last year after nearly two decades. Back in 2018, Oz's title was changed to Professor Emeritus of Surgery. Before the university ended formal associations with Oz, multiple groups had called for Oz to get the boot. A spokesperson from Columbia University Irving Medical Center confirmed to MedPage Today that Oz has not taught or lectured at the university in the months following his election loss.

Pivot to Political Candidate

When Oz first announced his Senate run, his show's website, DoctorOz.com, transformed into his campaign website. What used to showcase recent interviews, listicles of health remedies, and clips from the show were replaced by Oz's campaign bio and political stances. He leaned into his background as a surgeon and used medical language to illustrate campaign claims.

His campaign stated that "America's heartbeat is in a code red in need of a defibrillator to shock it back to life," hence why Oz was running.

"Dr. Oz is a world class surgeon, fighter, and health care advocate. He's spent the last 30 years in medicine taking on powerful special interests and telling people like it is -- that you have the power to change your life for the better," his website stated.

Throughout 2022, Oz's Twitter feed was filled with photos of campaign stops and anti-Fetterman articles and jabs. Oz made his pro-fracking, pro-border wall, anti-abortion stances known, among other views, which led to endorsements from right-wing political figures from former President Donald Trump to former South Carolina governor Nikki Haley.

For two months following his loss, the campaign website remained up with a concession message. But at the end of January of this year, the URL rerouted to Oz's YouTube page, according to screen captures on the Internet Archive.

After a year-long campaign feed of Trump-esque conservative rhetoric, Oz's political presence mellowed out. Since losing, he hasn't tweeted about the many conservative positions for which he was once outspoken. It appears Oz is reverting back to being one of America's most well-known doctors and putting his senatorial dreams (and crudite-fueled political snafus) behind him.

While there aren't any confirmations that Oz's show is returning, it seems likely that the public will be seeing more of Oz in the coming months -- though his next era is yet to be determined.

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    Rachael Robertson is a writer on the MedPage Today enterprise and investigative team, also covering OB/GYN news. Her print, data, and audio stories have appeared in Everyday Health, Gizmodo, the Bronx Times, and multiple podcasts. Follow